England v India, 1st npower Test, Lord's, 5th day

England's bowling a class apart

England lost the toss, batted through the toughest conditions of the Test, had almost everyone contribute and bowled as a team. It was a well-deserved victory

Sambit Bal at Lord's

July 25, 2011

Comments: 181 | Text size: A | A

Stuart Broad gets Ishant Sharma lbw, England v India, 1st Test, Lord's, 5th day, July 25, 2011
Stuart Broad did not let bad luck deflate him and finished with seven wickets in the match © Getty Images

The Test wasn't without its ebbs and flows and India did manage to bat almost 100 overs in the final innings but even the most fervent Indian supporter would find it impossible to dispute England's comprehensive superiority in this Test. They batted through the toughest conditions in the Test, pulled themselves out of a wobble in the second innings and their bowlers remained threatening throughout. Only the catching remains a concern but the optimistic view would be that the margin of victory was massive despite five dropped catches.

The most satisfactory aspect of this impressive and commanding performance was the totality of it. Kevin Pietersen was Man of the Match for his epic, skillfully-constructed double hundred, but England owed their first-day survival as much to Jonathan Trott, the kind of batsman who is likely to be more appreciated by fellow cricketers than fans. Matt Prior provided two vital innings from No. 7, helping England consolidate in the first innings, and later taking them from a potentially risky position to an unassailable one. And Ian Bell and Stuart Broad were vital in building partnerships at important junctures in the match.

But the bowlers were the real heroes of the match. The English camp has, throughout this Test, underlined the challenge of claiming 20 wickets at Lord's and certainly the wickets had to be earned. Even without Virender Sehwag and without much practice in these conditions, India are a formidable Test match lineup. To restrict them to under 300 in both innings on a reasonably good batting pitch took discipline, perseverance, skill and teamwork. The batsmen were never allowed to feel settled at the crease, the prospect of a wicket loomed almost constantly and England raised the intensity every time a breakthrough was achieved.

In most circumstances, dropping great batsmen would deflate the bowlers. Remarkably, every dropped catch at Lord's seemed to galvanise the England bowlers. In the first innings, Stuart Broad netted the biggest fish by pitching it up and swinging it away from Sachin Tendulkar. In his next over he saw both Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman dropped; at that stage, he could have had the entire top order either caught behind or bowled.

Broad's Ashes-winning 5 for 37 at The Oval in 2009 was perhaps more dramatic but it came on a far more helpful pitch. This was a more wholesome performance: his menace was consistent and sustained, and he became the enforcer in the truest sense by delivering wickets throughout the match.

Chris Tremlett was his perfect foil. Much is said of the awkward bounce he generates from a length but he beat the bat repeatedly by making the ball hold its line. He consistently troubled Dravid in the first innings and earned Tendulkar's wicket for Broad by choking him up after three confident boundaries. He had served notice to the Indians in 2007 with a sharp spell in Nottingham that accounted for three top-order wickets, though they proved inconsequential because they had only a few runs to defend. Since his return to the side during the latest Ashes, he has looked the complete package, with pace, bounce, seam movement and accuracy. His impact on this Test was far greater than the four wickets that the scorecard recorded.

Broad and Tremlett together made up for a below-par first-innings performance from James Anderson, who came in to the series with top billing. But Anderson began to find his rhythm as the match wore on and as he switched to the Nursery End. The ball that bowled Zaheer Khan on the third day, pitching on leg and middle and straightening to hit off, would have been good enough for any top-order batsman.

It was inconceivable for India to save this Test without a huge contribution from their big three and Dravid and Laxman, batting in their 30s overnight and growing in confidence, presented the biggest impediment to an England victory. Once Anderson removed them on either side of the first drinks break, India were always struggling. It could be argued that both batsmen conspired to dismiss themselves, but it was reward for relentless bowling.

Tendulkar's wicket was the decisive blow, and for good reason; Anderson could have got him twice in the space of three balls. The first one drew Tendulkar forward to elicit an edge that Andrew Strauss spilled at first slip. Two balls later he nipped one back to trap Tendulkar lbw, just as he had done four years ago at this ground.

This was the sixth time Anderson has nailed Tendulkar and, in doing so, he joined Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie as Tendulkar's tormentors-in-chief - and, with the other two retired, he has the opportunity now to pull ahead. At the moment, Anderson v Tendulkar reads: 223 balls, 114 runs, 6 dismissals, average 19.00.

Graeme Swann managed only two wickets, but both were top-order ones and came at crucial junctures. He was by some margin the best spinner in the match and, though Rahul Dravid played him exceptionally in both innings, he created far more opportunities than his more experienced rival. It is Swann's presence that tilts the scale marginally in favour of this English bowling unit ahead of the class of 2005. Ashley Giles could do a holding job, Swann takes wickets.

India were bedeviled by the injury to their premier bowler on the first day that neutered their bowling attack, and their batting order, already weakened by the absence of Sehwag, was further unsettled by Tendulkar's illness and Gautam Gambhir's injury. But they would be disappointed with the batting on the final day. Dravid was livid with himself after nicking a wide ball, and Laxman wore his familiar shell-shocked look after pulling one straight to midwicket.

As MS Dhoni said after the match, everything that could have gone wrong went wrong for India in this match. But, as they have shown on their route to becoming the top-ranked Test side, they are pretty good at moving on.

Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 12:03 GMT)

what did everyone expect really. With harbhjan losing all effectiveness and only 2 bowlers, bowling over 120 overs, did you expect that to take out england's batting and 20 wickets? Ishant and praveen have played theri first match in england, praveens played like 4 overall, and then harbhjan wasnt applying pressure at all. England should have gotten over 400 plus. And plus its england's home ground. I can see this indian bowling attack doing better in the second test, with more experience now. England bowled well, but without match practice and under pressure, and swinging condtions, no team would have survived. If Zaheer is unfit, put in Sreesanth, for some pace and swing. Indian batters will fire now hopefully, with a better warm up. England should not be complacent by thrashing india, and should be on more alert, for India's bounce back.

Posted by PPD123 on (July 27, 2011, 18:49 GMT)

It was a very professional performance from Eng- cant blame them if India was down to 10 men.Exactly how they do in football, when 1 team is down to 10 men the opposition raises its game and hammers home the advantage. Bhajji is being bashed and prob rightly so, since he has lost a bit of his effectiveness. Swann was bowling on the same pitch and was far more effective in putting pressure from his end. The batting line up that India has, I have no doubt that it will come good on this tour, the real concern for me is the bowling, I cant see the Indian attack with 4 bowlers, consistently dismissing Eng. Dhoni should eitherconsider a 5 bowler strategy and play with 6 batsmen. He should play a 3-2 combination & that will bring A Mishra into play OR he should just Mishra in place of Harbhajan as Mishra seems to have more variations and Eng dont play spin well historically.Dhoni should also just forget the conditions and bat 1st irrespective. Remember Durban recently and what happened to SA?

Posted by Vilander on (July 27, 2011, 15:25 GMT)

SA beat India with an innings to spare last year, Eng beat us here pretty bad. No team can win all the time, but if india is indeed no 1 then they can not depend on few cricketers and they can not be under prepared for important test series'. India is definitly not or will not be considered as ,the first among equals here, we are No 3 with SA and Eng sharing the top position if we loose this series.

Posted by Chris_P on (July 27, 2011, 13:33 GMT)

Have to agree Sambit. They also have Bresnan, Finn & Onions waiting int he wings who would all be just as incisive. Let's face it, these are golden times for English cricket. Will it last? Of course not, but for now, they are the ONE! For all you Indian supporters out there bemoaning what went wrong etc etc etc, imagine if you will, what the scoreline would have been had England held onto their catches? Your aging legends have done a magnificent job holding your side together for this long, but father time waits for no-one.

Posted by amitb52 on (July 27, 2011, 13:32 GMT)

We all know a Test Series in England is going to be difficult.. And that's what Test cricket is all about.. Every element of the touring team is tested.. playing in different conditions, mental strength of the team, ability to conquer challenges such as losing your strike bowler or batsmen to injuries. It is a test to the core of each individual.. I'm afraid India has simply failed the many tests in the 1st Test! No excuses! Lets hope that they can move on and bounce back for the remaining series.. after all Lord's was the flattest pitch out of the 4..

Posted by poderdubdubdub on (July 27, 2011, 13:04 GMT)

Even if England secure the top position in the ICC ranking, it wont last very long as they will start losing test series as soon as the play in the sub continent and Sri Lanka.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 12:55 GMT)

This could easily be the best bowling line up in today's test cricket and the best ever for england...

Posted by shilsen on (July 27, 2011, 12:12 GMT)

@EverybodylovesSachin - Evidently you didn't only skip the highlights but didn't watch the match either. Tremlett put in a very solid effort and definitely caused more trouble for the batsmen than the wickets column shows. I lost count of the number of times he beat Tendulkar and even Dravid, and he got genuine edges from them which, with a little luck, would have ended up in the slips. This might have been an ordinary game to you, but for a huge amount of people, it was a very good match with some excellent performances.

Posted by fancric on (July 27, 2011, 11:52 GMT)

England team was better prepared than Indian, They deseved to be win the Lords Test and Indian fans should accept defeat gracefully.

Posted by kevinpp24 on (July 27, 2011, 6:52 GMT)

ALL INDIAN FANS, I want you to understand one thing. India lost the match because of BATTING and not BOWLING. India had a chance to save the match at-least but they couldn't. Don't tell me it was because of injury to Gambir and Sachin, they got the starts and dug in and then lost their wickets. And don't tell me because of BATTING ORDER din't Dhoni came at different order in WC Final. He says he don't want to give EXCUSES and BLAMED everything as possible as he could.

Posted by kevinpp24 on (July 27, 2011, 6:22 GMT)

For all the Pietersen bashers, Kevin Pietersen is one of the best puller and hooker in Cricket at the moment. He is a front foot player but that doesn't mean he's weak against bouncers. He got out to Ishant because of extra bounce, even after the dismissal Hawk-eye showed variation in bounce.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 5:46 GMT)

Indians aren't as bad and the English aren't as good as was the case in the first test.

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (July 26, 2011, 23:58 GMT)

I completely disagree with this article..Read this.about Chris Tremlett...He consistently troubled Dravid in the first innings and earned Tendulkar's wicket for Broad by choking him up after three confident boundaries.. Chris Tremlett was an ordinary bowler...India lost because of Indian's bad bowling and Injuries..England should have been restricted to below 300 in both the innings...POOR Bowling in second innings after Ishant gave breakthrough...KP, Prior, Broad scored many runs gretest batsman world has seen... we know how they are..THIS WAS AN ORDINARY GAME..nothing more..do not create big hype..I even did not watch the highlights..

Posted by SDHM on (July 26, 2011, 19:09 GMT)

Prash - have to show you up here I'm afraid. 169 at Lord's last summer and 50 against Sri Lanka last month at the same ground means he most definitely has scored 50 in the last three years. Considering his test career's barely four years old, I'd say most of his runs have probably come in that time!

Posted by r1m2 on (July 26, 2011, 18:46 GMT)

hellloooo??? India were minus 1 bowler from first session of the test, and subsequently lost full services of some of the others Tendulkar, Gambhir etc. Not to mention Ishant had a mad first innings and Bhajji was serving up his usual crap. Bhajji is the worst bowler to have taken 400 wickets ever...

Posted by Molu14 on (July 26, 2011, 18:37 GMT)

A simple policy should be adopted for a consistently poor bowler. Runs conceded should be divided by total chances created. as dropped catches are unfair to the bowler. Accordingly, the bowler should then be expected to make up for those runs with his batting. In this case, Bhajji gave over 250 runs and got one wicket, + maybe 2 chances dropped, so he would be expected to make 80+. If not, he should be dropped. Otherwise, specialist batsmen suffer due to the incompetence of team bowlers. ANYONE would do better than the showing Bhajji has provided at Lords.

Posted by Rahulbose on (July 26, 2011, 17:52 GMT)

Why just the bowling, even Eng batting was a class apart? Only in fielding department India can claim parity thanks to the dropped catches.

Posted by Bilal_Choudry on (July 26, 2011, 17:30 GMT)

india without zaheer and an out of form harbajan would find it hard to bowl out opposition twice and will struggle

Posted by m_ilind on (July 26, 2011, 17:11 GMT)

I completely agree. This Test was a wake up call for India since they looked underprepared team with players coming off injuries, layovers etc. This series is going to change the reputations of some of the Indian players.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (July 26, 2011, 17:03 GMT)

No dispute. Their bowling was awesome and they thoroughly deserve to savour the moment. Kudos to England bowlers for that wonderful display of fast, swing and seam bowling. But Sambit, what about India's batting and Dhoni's Captaincy? They lost us the match. Barring the genius of Dravid and good 50s from VVS and Raina everybody failed (can cut Mukund some slack though). You think Sambit, isn't 40 minutes enough of a rest in cool England conditions to get back your energy and go for the kill? How lame of this captain that he lets the game drift away instead of making his 'tired' bowler start off at least with a small spell of 2-3 overs. What's the thing with bowling to the batsmen once the lead went past 350 to 375? Bowling with no sense of pupose. Strategic blunder and England sped away. Even after word came from England dressing room to the batsmen, Dhoni and Raina inexplicably bowled to the batsmen and got the treatment. This captain lost it big time. Sachin's a choker as usual.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 17:02 GMT)

India should thank England for not making green seaming pitches that they made for Sri Lanka tour. if they did this game will finish in 3 days. Indian bowlers bowled really well without Khan but batters were terrible!!! They are still in IPL mood!!!

Posted by arhun on (July 26, 2011, 16:48 GMT)

@johntycodes - Just what I expected! You guys just can't stop, can you? And, you do live in this world, right? "When is the last time India have won a test series outside the sub continent?" - seriously? West Indies! Yeah, I hear that it was a 1-0 win. But a win is a win. I admit, India was completely outplayed but as others have commented here, it is too early to predict the outcome.

Posted by ansram on (July 26, 2011, 16:46 GMT)

@guntur - tendulkar did not play naturally. He scored at 17 SR which is way unnatural and he allowed the bowlers to settle into a rhythm against him. He was bound to fail and this was one of the causes of India's defeat.

Posted by sashi94 on (July 26, 2011, 16:32 GMT)

England A Class Apart after one win? please.. India has to tour all around the world and beat everyone and still have to answer why they are ranked #1 by ICC. But England are world beaters after one test? It was a great win for england with an injured Zaheer, Gambhir and a sick Tendulkar. Let me not mention the makeshift opener due to a missing Sehwag. Imagine England without Tremlett after 13 overs.. Broad and Anderson would have been tired and ineffective.. just like the Indian bowlers. Cant wait for the next 3 matches where we will have 11 players..

Posted by ravimenon on (July 26, 2011, 16:20 GMT)

As usual, one defeat, people started commenting about India's famed batting line up, bowling fielding etc etc. This guys should look back to South African Series, where India lost heavily in the First Test then came back very well. India always been a bad starter. So just wait and see. This result was expected. But, to me India surely has to strengthen the bowling in order win the series. I prefer India to play with Zaheer, Ishant, Sreesant and Harbajan and if Zaheer is not fit then I would prefer Munaf. PK is not going to win a test match for India with his type of bowling. He got five wkts by bowling more than 40 overs. This England side is better than WI. Also, you can not expect the same swing in all other places except in Leeds. I can not even think of him bowling in Edgbaston. Dhoni also need to be a bit imaginative and attacking while setting the field. Hope they do well next time.

Posted by sudhakar185 on (July 26, 2011, 16:15 GMT)

Congrats to Team England which is at home advantage. Kudos KP. Coming to Team India, things did not work out well. Few players from Team India showed us that they did not prepare well enough for the game. Team India should step up their game. These are premature comments to judge the class of a team which was hit by injuries. Try to get the ratings of the site up by publishing some other positive articles about the test match. I agree that certain players in Team India are key in getting to this number one ranking in Tests. But the contributions form all of its players cannot be forgotten. Any team cannot be a nothing team if its missing 3 players. As this is a four test series, there is a lot left to comment about , judge about and come to a conclusion. I wish the best to Team India for the rest of this series. Hope the Judge overturns his judgement.

Posted by kuttappayi on (July 26, 2011, 16:03 GMT)

Agreed England outplayed India at Lord's. However, to term this as a great victory is a bit too much. India were thrashed in the first Test in South Africa too. But they rallied splendidly to square the series and at one time were in with a big chance to seal a historic triumph. England are still a work in a progress. They can never be compared to the all conquering West Indies or Australian sides of the past. This will be evident once they tour the sub-continent. India were badly hit by injuries and even with two pacers and an ineffective Harbhajan they tried to make a match of it. Let's wait till the series is over to heap praise on Strauss's men. An Ashes victory in Australia is all that they have won overseas. They were beaten by the West Indies in the Caribbean not so long ago. Against South Africa they were lucky to draw the series 1--1, with No. 11 Graham Onions batting out the final overs twice. Proteas are the best side as they can win anywhere with their quality attack.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 16:00 GMT)

Don't worry India. This is first test match. Three more to come. India are the poor starters of the any overseas series. Winning the toss and opting to field in this match is also not a good decision at all. All the best for them

Posted by jadedfan on (July 26, 2011, 15:50 GMT)

Some of the commenters seem to be surprised at the class and strength of this England side. Where have they been? Their bowling attack, especially in English conditions, is the best in the world at the moment. I still think batting is the relatively weaker department for England, what with Strauss not firing, but Trott and Prior lend it solidity and variety. Pietersen should be targeted with the short stuff and Ishant has to be really aggressive against him, otherwise KP will be the rampaging front foot bully that he was in the first innings. Without Zaheer though, it looks slightly bleak.

As for all those that have not come to terms with rankings, well, grow up. When was the last time England won in India? Or Sri Lanka? They lost in the West Indies the last time they were there!!! And got out of jail in South Africa, were absolutely battered by Steyn and Morkel in the last test. Rankings are based on a system that is the same for all. Ask Dinara Safina.

Posted by bumsonseats on (July 26, 2011, 15:39 GMT)

the english pace bowling must be the envy of every cricketing nation not only the the 3 who bowled in the last test but the guys who cannot get into this team. real problem for the selectors. then to cap it all the best spinner in world cricket. nice the hear dravid (great plaayer of spin ) say how he found swann to play. dpk

Posted by sanjaykn on (July 26, 2011, 15:37 GMT)

40) A total change in out look is required on many fronts! 41) India neither played like no 1 team nor believed like one!

42) Cricket needs lot of changes to keep the audience. My cousins have not watched cricket after world cup. They spend time on face book these days and movies at best! And people don't miss one show of wwe which has 3 to 4 shows per week and countless repetitions and still have serious followers! There is plenty of drama there and it is also a billion dollar firm and has huge fan following!

And under such circumstances all the more reason for champion team to play like champions!

43) finally, oh my god did I say finally.... India dearly missed player like viru. who are needed to provide action( we saw dilshan blast nearly 200 other day toying with the same attack!). And a change in approach and attitude worthy of champions as barked in all my above points!

I am not resting my case yet!


Posted by milesy100 on (July 26, 2011, 15:36 GMT)

While England won by 196 runs it could have been quite a bit more had we had the review for LBWs. More like 250 runs which is quite a huge victory and rather demoralising for the visitors. I wouldn't be surprised if England have this series wrapped up by the third test.

Posted by Fluffykins on (July 26, 2011, 15:36 GMT)

Looking forward to a better contest at Trent Bridge although looking at India they dont inspire me with much confidence .These mantras about slow starting, luck, injuries sound like desperation I think England will only get better and India will flatline as they are.Fact is dont often say it but feeling very good about England at present and far happy with my teams performance and prospects going forward.....

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 15:29 GMT)

Even no DRS for LBW could not help India to draw the match. They should change the pitches back home to produce genuine fast bowlers to be real No 1. But BCCI and fans want carnivals like IPL 20.which is batsman's game and bowlers are like workhorses

Posted by sanjaykn on (July 26, 2011, 15:24 GMT)

35) BCCI's contribution to cricket is nothing to brag about. It is indian audience who made the sport popular. Dont you see empty seats all over the world. Now even in india for one day matches? 36) Use all the technology before hand to get the result right! Like they are doing in tennis or NBA in usa! The goal is to get it right and use what all devices available at hand! 37) Well if umpires are not better than the technology. We don't need them at all! we can have matches with no umpire decisions. Let everything be decided by technology and let umpire interfere if technology cannot solve the problem! how is that for a change? This might sound specious but it is not. The snicko and track are close to 95% accurate so they are good enough to be used! Run out and no ball easy to catch by camera! hot spot there for bat and bad so lbw is also easy when you can track where the ball pitched and hit! What else? run out can be resolved too! only catches that dint carry are some times trouble

Posted by sanjaykn on (July 26, 2011, 15:20 GMT)

30) All the 11 players must think that they are match winners! And can make it happen! 31) Bhaji is totally a shadow of former self! compared to him swann was aggressive and he attacked! harbajan looked pedestrian, and he did no different in west indies! 32) we cant win with bowlers injured or coming in half fit and half baked when there are plenty of young bowlers going. Rp singh and irfan should have also been called for training camp for couple of weeks! BCCI has enough money to get it right!

33) If this continues; if most lucrative team and alleged one number team continue to play paltry cricket, the day is not far, when total interest would be lost in test match and people will only watch twenty/twenty and watch one day cricket from home( well stadiums in asia are quite filthy to sit for 10 hours anyway!).

34) The ICC might have to rewrite rules to avoid a draw match or a match going nowhere! And what about lame excuse of BCCI not trying to adopt technology!

Posted by sanjaykn on (July 26, 2011, 15:15 GMT)

2..n) A wispy player would have been able to pivot to completely loft the ball in the air or keep it on the ground! Well RD pulls right! And doesn't pull when needed to! Well that is the reason laks lost one day position too! But man can play! He can keep the ball all along the ground( see 4 centuries in australia in 2003!) But I will give benefit of doubt this time. 26) Once set you have to accerlate and try to dictate terms to the opposition. Make it happen there! 27) The only time it happened out of 15 sessions of the match was when india had opposition on the mat 60../5! And they dint go for the kill!

28) Well, may be I have too much expectation from this team. Or I am demanding too much from test cricket! Or a wrong tagged one day team! Or my belief that this team could have done it is wrong!

29) The team needs attitude adjustment to dominate. Otherwise we are not doing well in this series and australia to come. Cant depend on few players to make it happen!

Posted by henchart on (July 26, 2011, 15:14 GMT)

Indians are going to come hard at england at Nottingham and with Sehwag and Zaheer back in the team for Birmingham test, it would be a cracker of a contest.I predict 2-1 ,India.Indians are not no.1 for no reason.

Posted by chitraj on (July 26, 2011, 15:11 GMT)

Yes, agreed, India were completely outplayed and well done England. However it is important to state that this is not reflective of what a full strength India would have been like. Game 3 will evidence this. Sewhag to counter attack the swing, fully fit zaheer, gambhir and tendulkar. Also, I think the time has come to drop harbhajan and maybe even play yuvraj in his place.

Congratulations England, but mark my words. Game 3 onwards-you wont know what hit you.

Posted by sanjaykn on (July 26, 2011, 15:10 GMT)

22) he should have played few practice matches before starting the series and they dint do it! 23) A great opportunity was lost! The way india lost doesn't behoove world number 1 tag. They did same crap with low ranked west indies too! 24) If this continues world cup win looks like a flash in the pan! 25) coming back to viru. he upset umar guls rhytm! And would have done same to wahab had he not gone out! He had one problem with incoming ball when not set! Otherwise he would drive it up too! May be he should stand couple of feet outside the crease to blunt all the swing and just drive the balls! He is not obsessed with cover drive like dravid or even tendulkar. Just play the ball on the merit. look positive, take singles when they are there. Don't just block. How did RD get out eventually? Hanging is bat out the well outside the offstump! Did it help?

26) only laksh played superbly! He has that problem of keeping that ball down when he pulls. Well he cant dance. So he is not nimble!

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 15:07 GMT)

I am really hoping that India comes back from this defeat and fights hard. It will be a shame to see results with such huge margins in this series. I am sure that almost everyone will agree with me that we have been looking forward to this series, in which top two test teams in the world are competing for number 1 spot. I really hope to see indian top order score a few centuries and Ishant and Zaheer trouble the English line up. Oh, by the way, I am from Pakistan, but I am a cricket fan; and I enjoy good cricket wherever and whoever is playing it.

Posted by sanjaykn on (July 26, 2011, 15:06 GMT)

18) winner think differently. Dhoni is not the same captain here! He is too defensive! We dont mind india losing at all in trying to win and play like champions. I dint see none. I have been watching cricket since 1980!

19) But this is different era altogether! Stadiums are empty all over the world barring couple of countries just due to this reason. There is no enough action going on to keep the view engaged and reward him.

20) The australians dominated because they had time to get opposition out by scoring quickly( adelide by dravid is an exceptional result there was viru to blast too!).

21) virendra shewag is the only man who goes out there to win at all odds! He doesn't have the best technique! He may fail 5 times before he delivers but he makes it happen right from the word go! we saw that in semi finals world cup!

22) tendulkar is very fidgety by nature in test matches. He needs time! Even he has not acclimatized himself before walking to lords to bat!

Posted by sanjaykn on (July 26, 2011, 15:02 GMT)

continued... 13) The australians and west indies of the old excelled due to this attitude. They never really had to chase 450 as the bowlers would get the opposition before that! 14) This is the time for change and if india cannot do it they don't deserve to stay no 1.

15) I do not see any improvement coming. This can all fall apart and a 3-0 series win is not hard to imagine. With opposition also showing signs of improvement as series progresses!

16) Rahul dravid wont last with this attitude. I am not targetting him alone. Even lakshman. A strike rate of 35--55 is not good enough to force a result! And a total waste of time! 17) A draw is demanded when you are trying not to lose if a series is on the line or if all the doors are closed! Or odds are extremely worse! But with 80 for 1 there was every possibility to win the match!

Posted by vikram1705 on (July 26, 2011, 15:01 GMT)

I agree, India's batting line up is in reality is pretty weak without Sehwag. Tendulakar, Laxman and Dravid's reflexes have slowed down. They are not quick off their feet. Anyway, when was the last time Sachin won a test match for India? Dravid's and Laxman's second inning heroics in the past have won many a games for India. I don't understand why we overlook these two real legends of indian cricket and keep praising Sachin all the time. he has never come good when it has mattered the most. Test cricket is still the real thing. If BCCI needs a lesson in management, they should look up to English cricket administrators and start promoting tests the way it is doing shorter formats. People will be interested if this format is promoted in the right way. I am amazed that Dhoni did not complain about the umpiring. He only barks when the decisions go against indian team. In this test match, Sachin's and Raina's clear cut LBW's were turned down. Why did not Dhoni protest? What a looser!

Posted by Hindh on (July 26, 2011, 15:00 GMT)

England cant be the No 1 team by just winning tests on HOME soil. To be really No1 they have to win matches in sub continent.

Posted by sanjaykn on (July 26, 2011, 14:57 GMT)

Continuing my critic... 12) The trend has to be set by so called top teams for survival of test cricket! yesterday dint demand a draw but a chase! 13) I was utterly disappointed with the indian effort! They dint look the part! They look inept! 14) india dearly missed viru. Barring raina no body and a bit of lakman no body wanted to play any stroke! 15) There is a way to score if you are getting caught pushing outside the outstump all the time. you leave the god damn outside drives. and let the ball come to you! Rahul dravid needs to watch his own innings in 2002! 16) The attitude to win is the key! India cant be no 1 with this approach! Timid and fear wont take you anywhere! This is time for attack and change the game and the rules! And that is the only way test cricket can survive! It needs heroic efforts, drama, thrillers to compete with other brands! 17) I enjoyed money in the bank wwe during this time than a test match with result known before it was over!

Posted by sanjaykn on (July 26, 2011, 14:53 GMT)

11) Dravid is no doubt a great player. But his game is suited to play anchor role but he has to accerlate once set! Did anybody see how KP played? what he did after he was set? A 65% aggregate is needed to force issue from a test batsman. The old era of blocking and drawing are gone. Result is the key for test match survival? What did we achieve watching a lame and timid finish for 5 days of your time? Was it worth rewarding by any stretch of imagination? 12) Rahul dravid could have surpassed tendulkar yesterday, If he had set the chase by taking runs! Imagine if he had scored a century and others had rallied with him? India could have chased 450 plus target and we could have created history! 13) Had we lost in this endeavor no body would have blamed! Rather it would justify how world beaters think! Reaching top is different from staying at the top. That requires no mercy! no quarters given! Must come battle fit and never say die attitude! 14) This is very important as the trend has to

Posted by sanjaykn on (July 26, 2011, 14:49 GMT)

ok, continuing my thoughts! 5) So bowling doesn't have bite to trouble even a decent attack! 6) And what was zaheer doing, walking in to serious series with no preparation for couple of months! IPL is not test cricket! 7) A world number one team must get mad if you lose! see nadal,fed, sampras, woods. India won world cup by aggression and not by timidity! 8) History was beckoning to go for the target rather than bowing timidly! Very disappointing indeed. 9) This is happening, when no body wanna watch test matches other than england and australia! All other places stadias are bereft of audiences! This is due to exactly this. World number one team playing like sissies! 10) Rahul dravid is good for drawing matches and not chasing or winning one! Once set, you cant keep carrying on in same vein! This is a modern era! Once set you have to make it count and accerlate to force the issue! 11) he keeps blocking forever! Only scores better when spinners are on!

Posted by Tragic_Cricket_Fan on (July 26, 2011, 14:44 GMT)

Sambit, Englad played well and India in general, played like the team of the 90s - brlilliant in patches but poorly over 5 days. However, dont forget that ZK was injured in the second session of the match (for whatever reasons - fitness or bad luck), KP was caught on 49 and Boycott was on record saying Rauf didn't have the balls to give him out. There's a differnece of 153 runs just there. Prior may have gone on and hit a big century but we don't kow for sure, do we? The next 3 tests should be good though - hopefully, India bounce back early in the series; otherwise, this could end up looking very one-sided

Posted by sanjaykn on (July 26, 2011, 14:44 GMT)

man, I had registered just to speak my mind here. some of my observations are: 1) what did india achieve losing in order to draw a match? 2) It is better to have loved and lost and not loved at all. The need of the hour was to go for the target, which would have upset the line and length of the bowlers( how was anderson bowling when praveen kumar hit him for couple of fours?). Can you go anywhere just by blocking? 3) Is this number one team? They did same thing in WI( they could not chase a paltry target against a weak team in fear of losing?). 4) There is a way to reach the top and there is a way to stay at the top? 5) Dhoni is not in form and is a defensive captain in test matches! 6) They dint go for the kill in second innings when england were 5 for 50 or something! Matt prior is no great player! There was no line and length and make the batman play and beat balls. to be continued

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 14:44 GMT)

Well, you just can't judge India by this one match... We all, saw that in the past 3 years that they can bounce back all the times. This was not at all a bad loss either. They were fighting till the 5th day even though they have injuries, monumental change in batting order, etc.

Posted by getsetgopk on (July 26, 2011, 14:39 GMT)

a class apart indeed. if u put each indian player under the scope u'll see that apart from dravid there was no one showing any resistance. but that too just in the first innings. Ishant saying sorry for not knowing which line and length to bowl in the first innings is prety pathetic just as his statement 'I want to be like zaheer' well zaheer is a lefty and rely on swing where you are predominantly seam bowler and can take advantage of your height has no similarity with zaheer what so ever. I dont know where he got that from of bowling like zaheer, im sure Flethcher didn't advise him that. if India wants a come back they should get rid of the turbanator as soon as possible. dhoni should focus on his batting otherwise there's not much difference between him and darren sammy.

Posted by WTEH on (July 26, 2011, 14:35 GMT)

India need quality spinners. I do not see the reason to keep Harbjhan in the team when even Raina bowls better than him. With a solid spin attack, and Zaheer bowling England batsmen will have no chance.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 14:25 GMT)

India are slow starters. India are without Sehwag and Zaheer India had an injured Gambhir and Tendulkar There are 3 tests to go Kumar got 5 wickets in the first innings Ishant bowled brilliantly in the second Zaheer is class England played fantastically well but haven't won it yet

Posted by RS_Cric_11 on (July 26, 2011, 14:19 GMT)

True, England played better but out of their 8 sessions, they only betted two sessions under the cloud. Had the catch of Trott not dropped on the first day and the LBW of KP on 2nd day, the match could have been different. Anyway, 458 on 4th innings is beyond anybody's reach, that wat india was thinking, so were batting for time whereas I'ld have like to see them playing for a win, no matter what is going to happen out there. That should be the sign of a #1 test team. Sachin was ultra defensive that the culprit. If you ask bowlers to dominate you, they 'll where as in case of Sehwag, he dictates bowler and they just forgets what is the good line. Once that happens, Ishants can also make centuries.. India are really short of one bowler. RP Singh/Irfan Pathan could have been better. Key point is Injured player should not make it to playing XI, and India 'll will the match..... Bhujji should make up for his loss in LORDS....

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 14:14 GMT)

Agreed. England played better. But India were not bad either considering their limited bowling resources and subsequent injuries. The batting did well considering lack of practice.The Indian bowling despite having Zak out and Bhajji out of form ( seriously he needs to dropped) did make England run for their money in second inning. The lack of firepower after Ishant's spell cost India the match. Next match Bhaji needs to go out and if Zak is not fit Munaf needs to come in.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 14:08 GMT)

India were beaten by a well oiled English machine. India were prepared, but were beaten by a better team. All their players that were on the WI tour performed well. Maybe with the exception of MS. But England were superior. England bat way down to #8 & have a great bowling attack. India depend on 3 old campaigners & Z Khan. Once ahead England will stay ahead. England know to play the PRESSURE GAME.

Posted by fsdb on (July 26, 2011, 14:07 GMT)

What Bal has missed out is the simple fact that India lose the first test in every meaningful overseas series because they donot get enough preparation. England had 3 warmup games in Australia before the Ashes began. With a bit of imagination and forward thinking, Zaheer and one or two others could have been sent to play for a few weeks in county cricket or something similar to make sure they had regained full fitness. As things stand now, the worst possible reaction would be to rush Sehwag and Zaheer back before they are fully fit. Far better to play them in the warmup game in Northants to make sure they are fully fit before recalling them for the third test in Edgbaston. Left to the BCCI, Indian test cricket will be ruined. It is for the ICC to insist on a sensible iterinary balancing the demands of test, ODI and IPL cricket though it is perhaps wishful thinking to expect them to rise to the challenge.

Posted by poderdubdubdub on (July 26, 2011, 14:07 GMT)

I think India were really unlucky. Had India not had those injuries England would not have won the test. I still believe India will win the series.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 13:54 GMT)

From an English P.O.V, yes Broad appeared to "bowl well" but lets be realistic...he hasn't performed with bat or ball for over two years. The last 5 for he got in a test match was Feb 2009 and he hadn't scored a test 50 since 2008. Remember this is a man who apparently was selected for his allrounder skills. KP also has been an utter failure and like Broad only seems to come to the party when his position in the team is in threat/and/or they play at Lords.This tends to suggest they only perform best for personal reasons, for fame and glory.I doubt we will see anything else from them rest of the series. India will come back harder next match and with the injuries sorted out and if Khan is back i think we will see a more even contest.

Posted by CricketPissek on (July 26, 2011, 13:52 GMT)

loving the excuses by the indian fans :) was it sachin's sniffles that made dhoni play such an irresponsible shot in the final session? was it zahir's lack of match fitness that made harbajan look as threatening as boycott's granny with the ball? just accept the fact that Dhoni was clueless as a captain, India were ill disciplined, and were completely outclassed by an England team at the top of their game. The team has the talent to bounce back, but the attitude of the fanatics is one of delusion.

Posted by TJM101 on (July 26, 2011, 13:52 GMT)

England proved that they are as good as anyone in England and I think will go on to take the series, but it will be a lot closer from now on. As seems to be the case with all sides who play England (especially Aus this previous winter) India (and their media) have underestimated the England bowling attack; all the talk was about India's batsmen, especially Tendulkar, but there were some loose shots played. There's no one England bowler who is of the standard of a McGrath/Warne/etc but they are all very good (when Broad plays properly) and bowl brilliantly as a unit. I'm sure Tendulkar will reach his 100th century within a couple of innings but I don't see them outscoring England by enough to compensate for their bowlers who only looked good in patches. Are they good enough to get 20 England wickets at least twice in the next 3 tests? I'm not sure, but I can't wait to find out, this is going to be an awesome series between 2 very well matched sides

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 13:51 GMT)

The superiority of English team is absolute. Even with their best possible team , India would have struggled against this English Side- and I am talking about a fit Zaheer, Sehwag and in form Sachin included.

But with the absence of Zaheer and Sehwag, poor form of Sachin, Dhoni and Gambhir , ineffective bowling of harbhajan and an aging Laxman --- Indian massacre in this series is certain .

Some positives from this series could be how Pravin Kumar and Ishant Sharma are stepping up to becoming the spearheads for India.Another guy to watch out for is Mukund . He has shown some promise.

All in all looks to be a 3-0 or 4-0 whitewash by England.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 13:49 GMT)

Although England won comfortably and I am English by the way(born and bred) I have to examine the facts impartially! firstly Khan troubled the England top order, he took two wickets within a few overs then was carted off injured and played no further part in the game. SRT was also ill and spent some time off the field. Gambhir who is one of the mentally stongest players in the cricket world today took a nasty blow on his elbow and was also off the field and then had to bat in discomfort lower down the order. Which meant Dravid had to open and anyone who knows about him will know he hates opening and usually fails (he failed a lot when he opened in the series against Aus a few years ago). India's remaining seam attack who had little or no experience of English conditions. India played JUST ONE warm up match against Somerset and they had to get used to these english conditions quickly. Everyone seems to forget India had been in the WEst indies playing there before coming here.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 26, 2011, 13:47 GMT)

Hey @Nutcutlet! Nice to see you back on here! Thanks. I've been lucky enough to be present at some terrific England performances; Oval 1985, Edgbaston 1997, Lord's 2002, Oval 2005, Cardiff 2011, etc. They were brilliiant wins for England - but THIS one! The thing about this is one is that IT WAS EXPECTED. I expected England to win yesterday (I hadn't after Day 2 because I thought rain would save india). With other memorable England wins we remember them because we came out on top in a closely fought game or series. We remember because England - for a brief few days, or perhaps weeks - made us proud. Back in the 1970's England were not a "top" team, that was reserved for the brilliant West Indies. In the 90's it was Australia. So, for the longest time there was always a team that we knew could beat us. Not now. This England can give anyone a game anywhere. At home I now expect us to win every game against any opposition. First The Ashes home and away, now this. It's superb.

Posted by fsdb on (July 26, 2011, 13:39 GMT)

What Bal has missed out is the simple fact that India lose the first test in every meaningful overseas series because they donot get enough preparation. England had 3 warmup games in Australia before the Ashes began. With a bit of imagination and forward thinking, Zaheer and one or two others could have been sent to play for a few weeks in county cricket or something similar to make sure they had regained full fitness. As things stand now, the worst possible reaction would be to rush Sehwag and Zaheer back before they are fully fit. Far better to play them in the warmup game in Northants to make sure they are fully fit before recalling them for the third test in Edgbaston. Left to the BCCI, Indian test cricket will be ruined. It is for the ICC to insist on a sensible iterinary balancing the demands of test, ODI and IPL cricket though it is perhaps wishful thinking to expect them to rise to the challenge.

Posted by Righteous_cricketer on (July 26, 2011, 13:29 GMT)

Why hasn't MSD repeated the post match comments in West Indies about going back to the hotel early had the umpire called the correct decisions. Umpiring howlers are OK if it favours the "Flat Track Bullies" they whinge only if they do not favour them

Posted by Satyam_max on (July 26, 2011, 13:26 GMT)

India is surely missing the service of Zaheer and Sehwag . Now that Zaheer is not sure for the second test match too , it makes the matters even more worse . Also, Harbhajan's poor bowling form in the first test match is a concern . Probably , Mishra should be given a chance . And, in the second match , the batsmen must fire to make sure that India doesn't lose the match . In Zaheer's absence , the maverick Sreesanth can be tried out . English condition should encourage him and hope he gets his outswinger going .

Posted by Leggie on (July 26, 2011, 13:20 GMT)

@professor_zero:Agree with you that India could have still done better had Harbhajan bowled better - at least in terms of containing the flow of runs. The only place where the comparison between Adelaide 2010 and Lords 2011 differs is that in Adelaide 2010 Broad was available at least for the complete 1st innings while in Lords 2011, India lost Zaheer way too early in the match.The argument is not to take any credit away from the English bowlers.They were indeed fantastic and kept the pressure on even after bowling 90+ overs.The intensity was great and the Indian batting line-up never looked settled or assured.While I honestly feel that they might still be more than a handful for the Indians through out this summer,"this" Test was a complete mismatch of 10 vs 11.Contrary to popular belief, Indians have actually won on fast/bouncy wickets (Durban 2011,Perth 2007 etc) and I would like to see the Indian bowlers put some pressure on the opposition as a complete pack.Can't wait forTest#2:-)

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 13:15 GMT)

This series just got alot better. India tend to lose the first test, and did well here without main strike bowler. Take out anderson or broad from england and you can see. Plus praveen and ishant have never bowled in england before, and praveen has played like 3 test in west indies. Give some slack, but bhajji has lost impact, he shuld be dropped. Secondly, england are NOT the best, because they are playing at home. They cannot last in any subcontinent teams backyard, while India have had it close with South africa away, and with England in 2007. Fit Zaheer, can prove big, with ishant proving good.I feel it will be 1-1, with india bouncing back at some stage,a nd with sehwag's return an advantage. Unless England produce a grass pitch, but I would be careful of that. The only reason India does not have good bowlers, is because the BCCI does not nurture them, and then look at indian pitches haha. Pakistan does, but have other problems. Sri lanka does not, so you must say India is good.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 13:12 GMT)

England showed real character.. when they lost both openers soon in the first innings they came back well even though there was no zaheer.. and even in the second innings losing 5 wickets for around 100 runs they came back strongly to give a great lead.. Harbhajan looks very bad , his whole body language only not good , he didnt even look like taking a wicket.. everyone say that we lost zaheer and so lost the game , then why we are the number 1 team in the world just relying on one player... Dhoni is saying the batsman came in different batting order so we lost... what a pathetic thing to say by a captain.. best batting order in the world cant bat just one order up or down.. sorry sir you got to be kidding.. India pls comeback strongly in the next test and shut all our mouth who are saying India is not a deserved NO.1

Posted by Farukafaj on (July 26, 2011, 13:06 GMT)

Wait and see. what will be India's position after the Australian tour at the end of this year.. I can see around 4th position only . pls check on http://icc-cricket.yahoo.net/match_zone/test_predictor.php

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 12:59 GMT)

In the our game against Somerset, India were woeful in the field. I was there for the first day and the body language was horrific. They looked slovenly in the field and that was a major surprise given the coach's reputation for high standards at all times. None of the reserve bowling impressed. I don't think Munaf and Kumar can play in the same side, and Santh was rubbish at Taunton. Mishra coming in? Pfff. I don't think he's any great shakes at all, very much a roller of the ball rather than a big tweaker and not someone to get plenty of bounce out of a wicket. It's unlikely Trent Bridge will break up much.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 12:57 GMT)

I think what we are missing is that apart from Zaheer's injury we were still a bowler short always. when Dhoni came on to bowl it became clear we did not have a reliable fifth bowler option. Also with Harbhajan neither economical nor taking wickets and Ishant's 'officially the worst spell ever" in the first innings we were totally pegged back. Even if Zaheer had played he would not have stopped other bowlers leaking runs and what we needed was consistently good bowling like Praveen Kumar in first innings or Broad throughout the match. Hope the Indians come back strongly in the 2nd Test.Bhajji , please rediscover your liine and length and Ishant continue to ball fuller length balls to make the batsman play and be not afraid to be hit.

Posted by tjsimonsen on (July 26, 2011, 12:56 GMT)

Well, not everything went India's way. But that's a far cry from claiming that everything that could go wrong went wrong. Apart from winning the toss and getting more than their fair share of umpiring errors in their favour, India didn't bowl well enough on the first day when they had every chance to put England to the sword. Then they didn't bat anywhere near good enough first time around BEFORE injury and illness hit some of the batsmen. That's really where they lost this test (or rather England won it). As for the Zaheer Khan excuse: the last two times England lost a leading pace bowler during a test (Adelaide 2010 and Cardiff 2011) they won by an innings. The series is far from over, but it's advantage England, and India will have to run hard to catch up.

Posted by Herbet on (July 26, 2011, 12:41 GMT)

Is India's really a 'long' batting line up? Sure, Laxman, Dravid and Tendulkar are epic and Raina proved himself to be test class in this game. But, they have an inexperienced opener in Mukund, Gambhir has never played in England before, Dhoni likewize and i'm sorry but, Harbajhan is no allrounder. A couple of century's in India he might have but even Jason Gillespie got a double ton on the sub-continent. After Harbajhan they have 3 rabbits, especially if Zaheer doesn't play. The specialist batsmen, and Dhoni, are awesome if they fire but below them is a pretty long tail.

Posted by Herbet on (July 26, 2011, 12:34 GMT)

A lot of Indians are using Zaheer being injured as an excuse. He's 33, get used to it. The chances are you will never see him consistently fit again. Plus, even with just 3 bowlers, you could have done better if a) You scored more runs and b) You had a decent spinner to bowl one end all day. Unfortunately the batsmen faltered and Harbajhan also appears past his best. Also, why was Zaheer picked if he was not fully fit? If I were an Indian selector I would push Dravid up to open instead of Mukund, move Laxman up to 3 and bring in Yuvraj as an old rounder at 6. Most importantly, I wouldn't pick Zaheer if he wasn't fully fit and bring in Sreesanth in his place. Having said all of this, I fully expect India to come back firing and win at least 1 of the remaining 3 tests. England have to maintain their intensity.

Posted by malepas on (July 26, 2011, 12:33 GMT)

To all Indian fans-tough luck and hope ur team will show bit of a fight in coming tests as they have good batters but the main problem here is the bowling,India has not have the bowling side(even including Zaheer) which will make this English team sweat and they will struggle more in coming tests as the wickets will be more prone to swing bowling, no team with such a weak bowling ever could win or even draw a series in England and this English team is pretty good,its one thing claiming number 1 by playing at home and tacticaly playing with weaker sides but another to go out and actually winning series overseas against good sides, thats where you need a good all round bowling attack, don't know what the hell budge is doing in this team,,, so good luck guys.

Posted by Joby_George on (July 26, 2011, 12:17 GMT)

Hats off to England. They outplayed India in all aspects. Have to agree that this England team deserves to be one of the best side in the wold test cricket. India's bowling with the absence of zaheer was too bad , but what explanation about worlds best batting line up. Indian should give all credit to its No.1 ranking to 3 players, without them, they could have been nothing, Our Great Wall DRAVID, ZAHEER & SEHWAG

Posted by likeintcricket on (July 26, 2011, 12:15 GMT)

The problem with India is their bowling. They did not get England out in both the innings and the first inning batting display of English batsman on green top wicket was very impressive. The only flaw was their fielding which was mediocre when compared to their high standard. We all know they are a top class fielding side and they will certainly improve on that too. I agree with some of the comments to bring bresnan and go all out on India. On paper India's batting looks great but the real fact is that they are an aging outfit and prone to injuries. Only encouraging thing for them is Raina's batting. I agree with the comments that India will improve in the 2nd Test but so do the England. It is too early to comment on the outcome of this series but India must realize that its time for some of the cricketers to retire from including those who are in good form.

Posted by meastrostroke on (July 26, 2011, 12:05 GMT)

this is the right time to leave out turbanator . He is taking everything for granted. He shud leave way for youngsters like ravindra jadeja and ashwin. In tests its the matter of taking wickets .

Posted by big_al_81 on (July 26, 2011, 11:53 GMT)

@ wicketman. 'where was the famed England top order really?' Well they were...not getting bowled out in the whole game while racking up nearly 500 runs in the worst batting conditions, then when there was a wobble at the top the best Test wicketkeeper-batsman played superbly. I was under the impression that India had quite a famed batting line-up but maybe I'm thinking of 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 years ago. I fear that relying on the weight of runs for years has meant that they forgot to find enough...um... what were they called again... oh yes, bowlers! India will play better I'm sure but most tests are won by bowling the opposition out twice and while England have many top class ones to call up in case of injury, once the excellent Zaheer is out of the game it's a real struggle for India. Waiting for 'Viru' won't help much - runs aren't the problem - it's wickets (although he's probably as good as Harbhajan currently!) Great to see sensible and gracious Indian comments on forums overall tho.

Posted by Deepkar on (July 26, 2011, 11:49 GMT)

India just cant win 1st match like vs sa we got all out for 130s and lost by innings everybody said same what ppl r saying now but this indian team knows how to rise from ashes and how to make ash of other teams dream of winning series against them.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 11:45 GMT)

England did bowl magnificently but with due credit to them, half-hearted approach from indian batsmen did help their cause. they will not find it easy in forth-coming matches.Its too early to call them a classs-apart bcos two of d three indian seamers were playing in england for the first time & u could see the improvement in 2nd innings straight -away.

Posted by buntyj on (July 26, 2011, 11:40 GMT)

ps- not only is this england side the strongest batting line up india hae played since 1999-2000 series in oz but best bowling from after same series too and pak 1998-99; 3 quality pacers (more in reserve) n genuine quality spinner; rsa have steyn rest of pacers not quite in same league and no worthwhile spinner, pak pacers are suspended, oz good pacers maybe nearly on par with eng but inexperienced n no quality spinner after warne n mcgill, windies have inexperienced pacers not quite in top league but not far behind, n bishoo (better spinner than any1 in india today) but will be better when they gain experience n joined by cotterell n the pacer who played in odis not tests n scored a few runs too?) ; india have done well to become no1 (though not an all time great or dominant side) but once they slip after this series it will be a longtime before they are in the frame for no1 again. only gains being raina; with pujara n rahane n just maybe rohit sarma will be indias batting post 2012

Posted by professor_zero on (July 26, 2011, 11:05 GMT)

@wolf777 and @Leggie: Two points (1) Of course, India would've played better with a fit Zaheer. But he wasn't fit, clearly, or else he'd have bowled in the second innings at Taunton. India therefore erred strategically in selecting him in a four-man attack. (2) Injuries happen. The question is, how do you deal with them? In the second Test at Adelaide in 2010, Broad went out injured but England won by an innings. How? They scored 600+ runs in the first innings, so the three fit bowlers had serious run-protection. And Swann bowled 41 overs, taking 5 wickets at 2 runs per over, allowing the fast bowlers to rotate while still causing havoc himself. In this Test, by contrast, India built very few partnerships and never applied *sustained* bowling pressure. The biggest factor in this was Harbajhan being quite poor. India will play better than this, I'm sure, but they were simply outplayed in this match.

Posted by hawkeye30 on (July 26, 2011, 11:05 GMT)

India looks horrible. They simply don't stand a chance against the mighty English.

Posted by nsidd75 on (July 26, 2011, 11:02 GMT)

India are exactly where they have been is major series for the last few years, one-nil down. There are three tests to go. You cannot write this team off. England will need to play just as well if not better through out the series.

I will be very surprised if India do not come out firing all cylinders in next test.

A great series to look forward to.

Posted by tajjuk on (July 26, 2011, 10:40 GMT)

i don't think you can use Zaheer as an excuse, he was playing when conditions were best for bowling and battled Engalnd battled through it, Strauss, Trott and then KP saw off this threat and then carefully build a decent total. Also if India had prepared properly then it's doubtfull Zaheer would have got injured, you can't go from playing no First Class cricket to then expecting him to bowl 20+ overs in a day, especially at 33. He needed overs to get match fit and not bowling him in the second innings at Taunton was a big mistake. India will bounce back but this Test has shown that England have the better bowling attack to suit all conditions and with the batting line ups similar England have the edge.

Posted by KKNIAZI on (July 26, 2011, 10:34 GMT)

India Lost because they did not bat well (which has always been their strength) not because they did not bowl well. Take out Pietersen's double, England is still a clear winner.

I'm not sure why Indians, here in the comments are doing DHONI, looking for excuses in the loss.

Posted by Herath-UK on (July 26, 2011, 10:21 GMT)

It is said India comes from behind highlighting another injustice in cricket;if Sri Lanka too given four Tests,it could have gone for a win in the fourth.I think all Test series should be minimum of four Tests .Ranil Herath -Kent

Posted by NRI- on (July 26, 2011, 10:20 GMT)

Someone please check the stats - is it true that in the last 4 years, India has only won ONE test match in which either Zaheer or Bhajji did not take a five for in an innings? That match was when Sreesanth took a 5 for against SL. What bowling depth? With Zaheer injured and Bhajji out of form, it was all over on day one. If Dhoni had a leg slip to KP, he could have been out for under 20. Now the only hope is Zaheer becomes fit and Mishra is in and bamboozles England. PK and IS are good as 3rd and 4th bowlers. If Zaheer is unfit (ah so often this happens), then send SOS for the much younger RP Singh.

Posted by there_or_thereabouts on (July 26, 2011, 10:07 GMT)

Dhoni was surely wrong when he said 'everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong'... Hang on, didn't India win the toss? So they had the best bowling conditions of the match? And weren't there 3 plumb LBWs not awarded to England? And didn't India benefit from 5 dropped catches that England would normally gobble up? I know India lost by nearly 200 runs, but if Dhoni had been correct and 'everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong', it would have been much worse for them.

Posted by Balumekka on (July 26, 2011, 10:05 GMT)

1. This is an expected defeat as Indians are bad starters. 2. Zaheer's injury was the key factor. 3. If Zaheer returns for the next game, absence of Sehwag will be the key factor. 4. Lack of match practice will be another key factor. 5. English conditions are alien to Indian players. If you need more, I will give 1001 justifications!!!!!!

Posted by crimsonbull on (July 26, 2011, 9:47 GMT)

Nah! Am not worried. India that was a cub at Lords will become a roaring tiger winning the series 2-1.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 9:39 GMT)

India are slow starters and tend to improve but must be concerned because 1) They where bowled out 2 for sub 300 of a flatish surface 2) This England team raised its game in the crux moments and won them all 3) Zaheer Khan's fitness 4) Balance of the side for Trent Bridge playing an extra bowler weakens the batting further

Lets not forget that England play well at Trent Bridge and Edgebaston. Was very disappointed in Dhonni and his excuses. Even if the Zaheer Khan point was valid, he should remember to control the controllables and adjust the rest.

Posted by pragmatist on (July 26, 2011, 9:38 GMT)

This was a fantastic Test match. It had everything, was played out in front of capacity crowds throughout, and went down to the last hour or so of the last day. India's class was evident in the difficulty that England had in bowling them out twice. England were superb, resiliant when it was needed, patient in their attack and defence. India will need to improve significantly from here to bounce back.

Posted by rbsvinod on (July 26, 2011, 9:29 GMT)

This was a depleted Indian side. - No Shewag means no great start and the subsequent batsmen facing deflated bowler after the usual mauling by him. - Zaheer injury means not only India lose their best bowler but also the other bowlers had to take load reducing their effectiveness. - Tendulkar getting sick is unfortunate added to that maintaining a high level of concentration with immense pressure was going to be tough. He was constantly on and off the field. No real match practice as well before the matches. - Gambir injury! No real match practice as well after his recovery. - Harbhajan should be dropped! Just to get him serious about his position in the team. - Others - Dhoni's captaincy not up to mark. Changes in the batting order etc If England did not make an impact, they would have been deflated for the rest of the series. That doesn't mean India is excused. If they lose the tests, their No.1 position is gone. India still has enough talent if they get their act together

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 9:28 GMT)

Why is everyone going on about Zaheer Khan? It was Indian batting that failed, the famous "heavy" batting line up that we keep hearing about. Sure, being a bowler down meant less pressure on Englands batting, but seriously England still would have won the test based on the way the Indian batting folded twice..

Posted by Chaiwallah on (July 26, 2011, 9:22 GMT)

Congrats to the England team from an Indian fan. Its obvious that this is a very very good team with depth in both batting and bowling that I didnt realize. They also seem to have a quiet confidence and ruthlessness about them. For my fellow Indians making excuse, lets face it - we got THRASHED - I mean England declared twice! bhajji and dhoni are not really test players and we need to re-think our playing 11. For those who thought that we could just show up and win, I hope this serves as a rude awakening - it is not getting any easier this series...and it is quite difficult to win away from home.

Posted by johntycodes on (July 26, 2011, 9:21 GMT)

Pretty good at moving on yeah in the sub continent conditions. When is the last time India have won a test series outside the sub continent? They are a false number one ranked team. England will win this 3-0

Posted by bobmartin on (July 26, 2011, 9:13 GMT)

There's an old adage in any sport, you can only play as well as your opponent lets you. And that was the difference between the two teams. India only looked the better team for a spell in England's second innings when the batting looked as if it might be suffering from the domino effect it had so often in the past. To say that one injured bowler made all the difference is no excuse. Dhoni made at least one tactical error by not bowling Sharma immediately after the lunch break. It was he who had ripped the heart out of England's middle order and had just had 40 minutes rest... Wasn't it worth the gamble to try and grab a couple more wickets. India might then have had a gettable fourth innings total to chase. On the other hand we might look at the two howlers Billy Bowden made which reprieved Gambhir and Tendulkar and could have resulted in the match finishing very much earlier and England winning by a much larger margin. Swings and roundabouts..

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 9:02 GMT)

This is an England team which is hungry for glory. They know how to take wickets, how to score runs and how to win matches. No point in searching for excuses. The best have won at the end of the Play. But sadly many times more to be repeated. Wow,, I enjoy that.

Posted by SydneySpinner on (July 26, 2011, 8:40 GMT)

England look pretty formidable as a unit. India looked badly underdone. Yes, you can argue that India has a habit of coming back hard. But why cede the initiative in the first place? Where possible, players should either have gone to the WI and/ or (in the case of Zak) spent some time acclimatising in the county championship to get 'battle-hardened'. Good preparation makes a huge difference, though not sure how much input (if any) Duncan Fletcher will have had. IPL is a nice money-earner, but Test cricket is the apex of the game and rightly so. Veeru is still nursing his shoulder in the wake of that carnival. This is arguably the biggest series for India in some time and I fear they are going to find it very hard to compete with England.

Posted by manujbahl on (July 26, 2011, 8:39 GMT)

India in last 5 yrs have shown nerves of steel and have in them to bounce back in the series, Without Sehwag things are looking omnious,Zaheer's injury is also a very important setback, still I have a firm belief in this team, they have in them to win matches or series under pressure, english bowling was superb and they ensured that each ball is played rather left thus they made more chances and grab more wickets. All is not lost,This team will bounce back.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (July 26, 2011, 8:38 GMT)

@5wombats: I concur, absolutely! This is the best England team (we come from the same era, you and I) that I/we can recall. It used to be said that bowlers hunt in pairs - well, in this team it is a relentless and impressively efficient pack! Now Stuart Broad has understood what his role is and is executing it effectively, there is nowhere for the Indian bats to find easy runs and sooner rather than later, each falls victim to a great delivery or exasperation at not scoring above a pedestrian pace. That is why Dravid's 1st innings was exceptional - he, and he alone, had the patience and the high-order skills to combat England's bowlers.This is backed up with superb, well drilled ground fielding unit, although the catching was fallible. India? Very ordinary, lacking consistency, either rusty or weary, amateur as ground fielders (maintaining an Indian tradition of leaking runs). This test -- England: A minus; India C+

Posted by BapiDas on (July 26, 2011, 8:37 GMT)

It has been not for nothing that India could become the Number One Test team and retain that position for some time now! This team has the character, guts, skill and of course the experience to come back strongly. But as far as this particular Test match is concerned, England were most certainly the better side and they deserved the victory.

Posted by soumik on (July 26, 2011, 8:27 GMT)

Missing ZAK was the key.He should be sent back immediately to India if he's not fit for the second test and India should play Sreeshanth instead.There is no psychological advantage in keeping an unfit player in the team and then get reduced to 3 bowlers and loose a match.Sachin again proved that he is only above-average and not outstanding or extra-ordinary.Dravid himself said that if one plays 120+ test matches he should score 10000+ runs and Sachin played 174.Also his 4th innings record is as decorated as his overall test record..:))Bhajji again talks too much with occasional performances (2-3 times in 10 matches).He sights reason of not getting wickets as opposition plays him defensively.Them how Murali got those 800 wickets?Bottom-line,drop him and play mishra for more variety.India can definitely bounce back in this series and they should take heart from India's 2nd innings bowling performance.If India had one more bowler things would have been different.India can beat England.

Posted by LazloWoodbine on (July 26, 2011, 8:22 GMT)

Doesn't it depress Indian fans that their team ALWAYS has to bounce back? They lose the opening matches of Series far too consistently for it to be a match practice/ poor itinerary issue, because other teams suffer the same difficulties and yet do far better. By now, after how many years of this, surely someone at the BCCI has spotted the trend and tried to do something AHEAD of a tour? England outplayed India in every department and, although they should put up a greater fight in the Tests ahead, this is a trend that must frustrate and irritate Indian fans.

Posted by Tom_Bowler on (July 26, 2011, 8:21 GMT)

There seems to be some talk of Tremlett carrying an injury, he would certainly be missed but the possible substitutes won't let anyone down. I'd go for Bresnan rather than Finn who is an obvious like for like but still leaks too many runs at the moment. I'm yet to be convinced by Morgan as Test cricketer, he got sawn off in the first innings but played a silly shot when we were in some trouble second time around. If he were to be replaced I'd take a good look at Sandwich Fatel, he's shed enough timber to pass the bleep test, is a natural number six and bowls half decent left arm spin, I'd rather see him as a fifth bowler than Trott and KP who are just awful. Ravi Bop would be another possible but his form for Essex hasn't been great. I don't expect Morgan to go though, apart from anything else he scored a ton at Trent Bridge last year off an excellent attack with the ball going round corners. Unless injury forces Tremlett out we'll be unchanged.

Posted by _Australian_ on (July 26, 2011, 8:08 GMT)

An expected result in English conditions. Just as I would expect the opposite in India. India really need to have all players fit for this series if they are to be a chance away from home soil. For this series to be what is advertised, I hope for India's sake they all are fit. If not England could really dominate. I think the latter will be the case. As an Australian this exactly proves my previous point to you Indian supporters as to why our past dominating Australian side was so much better than your Indian side. We could play and win anywhere even with players missing. As for England all things seem very rosey indeed and I can see England at the top of the tree for some time.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 7:42 GMT)

For those who are sure india will def bounce back after a typical slow start-nothing is certain.if there is any such thing,manchester united will win every premier league,real madrid will win every champions league,aus will win all the world cups and roger federer will win every grand slam

Posted by No_Excuses on (July 26, 2011, 7:34 GMT)

To win most Tests you need to take 20 wickets. With Zaheer out I can't see India taking 20 English wickets any time soon. England are going to win this 3-0 or 4-0 and rightfully become No.1 Test team in the world.

Posted by pka1982 on (July 26, 2011, 7:30 GMT)

India should have saved the match yesterday. It was really disappointing to see them crumbling under sustained pressure. They should gamble with Sreesanth in the next test and replace Harbhajan with Mishra. However i think they will do much better in rest of the series and hopefully win it. England is definitely beatable at home.

Posted by DanJamson on (July 26, 2011, 7:29 GMT)

Indian fans are vastly over-rating their team. This has 3-0 to England written all over it. India do not look like bowling England out twice and England are scoring runs for fun. After the series I suspect the Tendulkars, Dravids and Laxmans wont be too far from being retired. India have already peaked, plateaued and are now firmly on the way down.

England are already the unofficial number one Test team.. this series will just put a stamp on what many cricket fans already know to be true.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (July 26, 2011, 7:19 GMT)

Agree with Alexk400. For all their bowling strengths England should think of playing Bresnan in place of Eoin Morgan at Nottingham. Playing four bowlers against this strong Indian batting line up, that too in back to back Tests, will definitely wear them out and will lead to injuries.

Posted by Blokker on (July 26, 2011, 7:15 GMT)

Excuses, excuses. India were thrashed. Maybe more than zero days preparation for the tor would have helped? Pride goeth before the fall.

Posted by darkknight1072 on (July 26, 2011, 7:15 GMT)

India could not win a winnable match in Dominica and could not draw and drawable match here in Lords. Its time for a new number 1.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 7:13 GMT)

From the start of the match this Lords pitch gave very little help to both pace and spin. And to take 20 Indian wickets in less than 200 overs on such a flat surface, is a phenomenal achievement by this English bowling group.Even counting for Zaheer's absence(At the moment he is more valuable to India than Sachin or Sehwag) It was a thoroughly justified victory by England. The series is wonderfully set up. Bring on Trent Bridge!

Posted by vissu295 on (July 26, 2011, 7:10 GMT)

Good article from an excellent writer.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 7:08 GMT)

Frankly speaking India's body language was not that of the No.1 side in the world. Unplayable in India on spinner friendly wickets, Harbhajan seemed like a Club bowler. Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar are world class but liabilities in the field. India is great on home pitches, overseas they are average. I dont see them winning or even drawing the series.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 7:04 GMT)

Come on Indians be brave and except your loose. You had most formidable batting line up and they let you down. Its a batting that get failed and in both innings your batters couldn't cross 300 mark.

Posted by universal.rampage on (July 26, 2011, 7:02 GMT)

Indian bowling is not world class. That it depends on a bowler who has broken down more than twice in the last 12 months is a sign of what else? A smart captain would not gamble on such a bowler staying fit for five days. Whatever be the past record of the spinner, he has been third-rate for quite some time now.

The strength of the Indian side is batting and the batters failed to fire at Lords.

Posted by Mr.AmartyaB on (July 26, 2011, 7:01 GMT)

England were worthy winners as they managed to see out the difficult batting conditions on Day 1, and bowled with great discipline against a hugely formidable Indian batting line-up. This game was a fabulous advert for test cricket and sets the scene for a great test series. As an Indian fan, I do hope we can level the series at Trent Bridge. India really has great incentive to step up now and prove they are worthy as test cricket's number one side, but from the evidence on display at Lord's, it won't be easy.

Posted by kantipur on (July 26, 2011, 7:01 GMT)

West Indies drew the third test against India recently playing with just 3 bowlers in a test and just 2 bowlers most of the first innings. I didn't hear any west indian supporter complaining. Very pathetic excuse from the top ranked team in the world. Infact Zaheer was never fit. He didn't bowl in the second innnings against somerset and very little in the first innings. India were trying to be cautious but they knew that there is high probabality of him being injured.

Posted by bhaloniaz on (July 26, 2011, 6:57 GMT)

England bowlers were really good in bouncy australia. Anderson does not always do his best (even Zaheer has more killer instinct). Board has all the talent yet he does not have 3 wickets/test. Tremlett is a very good bowler. So is Swan (spinners usually need more runs and time to get a wicket). I see SA and Aus equally talented as India and England. Its a toss up between all those four (with England and SA a bit ahead of India and Australia).

Posted by maddy20 on (July 26, 2011, 6:55 GMT)

@SnowSnake Say that when they confirm Zaheer, Gambhir and Sachin are fit to play the next match. England just got lucky that three of our best players injured/ill!

Posted by stormy16 on (July 26, 2011, 6:46 GMT)

Most of you have missed that the article is abuot Eng and yes they surely had a near perfect game and the to get out of the wobbles on day 4 brings home the point well. KP and Broad had brilliant games and Broad could eailty have had 10 wickets for the game on top of the vital second innings 50. Amazing to think he could have been dropped from this game. Contributions came from all sides except Straus and Morgan and Eng look to be in top form and will be tough to beat from here.

Posted by vertical on (July 26, 2011, 6:44 GMT)

Serious good bowling by england,congos.Completely outplayed India. Last time the big reason we won was Zaheer's performance.If some other bowler does not step up(since Zaheer is injured,its tme to look beyod Zaheer in tests he is always injured wasnt he in south africa as well!!) its going to be bloody difficult for India to win this time

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 6:42 GMT)

well played england ! making new excuses, series is still not over. india has always been poor starters, especially overseas. first they had hampered preparation & then zaheer's injury, but still they should have shown more mettle. i hope they will come back strongly.

Posted by chokkashokka on (July 26, 2011, 6:34 GMT)

All I saw was luck - pure luck - 4 out of the Indian 11 were claimed by injury or illness - plain misfortune. I'd like to see England without 4 of their 11 make it to the 5th day against a first Indian 11 on Indian soil. That game would have been over in 3 days tops. Can we just postpone the 2nd test until Zaheer and Sehwag are healthy? we can play some more warm up games like this lords warm up.

Posted by kurups on (July 26, 2011, 6:28 GMT)

Convincing win...deservedly so. just when everyone though Dravid was back he plays the most unlike-dravid shot and gets out! and Laxman, use your pull shot wisely cos u r not a Ponting! India shoud bounce back, I hope...Sehwag Sehwag......where r u???

Posted by lateswinger on (July 26, 2011, 6:13 GMT)

If India stands a chance in this series, they need 5 bowlers to take 20 wickets. Where is RP Singh? Drop Raina and drop Harbajan and play 4 quicks and mishra at trent bridge. (everybody is used to playing harbajan) Indian has the batting power plus dhoni -- if your top 6 can't score, no point playing with an extra batsman. Wicket takers win you test matches if you still want to be number one.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 6:12 GMT)

Well played, England! But one victory does not make the summer. Indian team has the character to bounce back.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 6:01 GMT)

India have lost the first test of a series abroad nearly twenty times in the past and have come back strongly more than 70% of the time. BCCI has to be blamed for this debacle especially of handling the injuries of players. No wonder this English side is high on confidence and performance, it is bewildering to write off 4-0 wash as some snowsnake figures. If India has to come back strongly, we need to look at a possible inclusion of Amit Mishra in place of Bhaji as historically the english have one weakness on that front. Nottingham will offer more swing which makes a case for Sreesanth in place of injured Zaheer. There was more seam movement than swing in Lord's and you can expect Praveen to shine at Nottingham.i think India should find the right mix to bowl out England to less than 300 and take 20 wkts which will solve India's problem right now.

Posted by pirki on (July 26, 2011, 5:51 GMT)

Lots of commentators and lots of comments about close contest, very intriguing test match. My OPNION IS IT WAS NEVER CLOSE TO BE A CLOSE CONTEST. England scored 743 runs and lost 14 wickets, while world NUMBER ONE team scored 447 RUNS for 20 wicktes. i dont think Zaheer would have made any difference at all. he could have add another six wickets in his tally. 6 wickts and almost two hundred runs huge gap it was never a close match it was a one sided. one agressive double and one aggressive century from england while one back to the wall hundred from india...............

Posted by strategic_blunder on (July 26, 2011, 5:46 GMT)

Part 3 of 3 ..... C) Another explanation of this phenomenon could be with the help of statistics. India batted 96.3 overs @ 2.70 runs per over in the second innings and acquired 261 runs (England was batting @ 3.78 rpo). Now, if India was batting with a bit more aggressiveness, then their run- rate be closer to England's second innings and be causing serious headache to Strauss & co. Might have affected the rhythm of the bowlers. Entirely plausible from 'the best batting line-up in the world'.

All this aggressiveness might have still yielded a draw but at-least it would've been more satisfying than a limp loss. What the heck, an aggressive loss would've been more savoured than a limp one and enhanced team India's reputation. An improbable win could've been a bonus.

A lingering question and the inspiration behind this critique is, does this much acclaimed Indian batting line-up wants to go out with a bang or a whimper?

Part 3 of 3

Posted by strategic_blunder on (July 26, 2011, 5:46 GMT)

Part 2 of 3 ..... 4. MOST IMPORTANTLY, India missed a trick, which I believe cost them the game more so than anything else. They went into a cocoon of unnatural defensiveness, in the 2nd innings, which consequently sealed their fate. This mindset also made the opposition bowlers look far more threatening. The reason I say this is because A) the pitch/weather conditions had changed dramatically from the initial phase and eased in general (variable bounce aside), a prime example of this being the partnership between Prior and Broad in the 2nd innings. Sun was shining throughout 4th day onwards and a heavy roller was used for India (for 7 mins) which had further eased the pitch; B) India didn't capitalize on the psychological advantage which they gained from the Chennai test (I know its an old 2008 test, but is important as it was the second last test between the two countries prior to Lord's in which India prevailed on a far more challenging 5th day Chennai pitch; ..... Part 2 of 3

Posted by SaladiA on (July 26, 2011, 5:45 GMT)

Lets be pratical. Yes England played well, no doubt. They had absolute scary moments in this match. India playing with 3 bowlers in the most part of the match helped England secure this win. England is well aware that full strength Indian bowling unit would be tough to play in their conditions. We have to wait and see how good the English team is after the 2nd test. For sure, India will make a statement in the next match (with 4 regular bowlers, irrespective of Zah is playing or not). India let this match slip of from a comfortable draw. Well played England, Hard luck India.

Posted by nair_ottappalam on (July 26, 2011, 5:44 GMT)

The great batsman of all times (as has been described by the cricket fans of cricinfo) has a very ordinary record (comparable to a tailender) at the Mecca of cricket. He has almost of the records he could achieve in the world, which cannot be bettered by anyone in the near future. But ???????????????? at Lords??? What happened gentleman? and any comments from his most fervent fans?

Posted by strategic_blunder on (July 26, 2011, 5:44 GMT)

Part 1 of 3

Excellent win by England and a thoroughly enjoyable 2000th test. Would like to comment on couple of things:

1. Agree with the fact that, in general, the English bowling was significantly superior to India's depleted attack.

2. England's batting had more grit and purpose, however, less pressure to deal with throughout.

3. Agree with Dhoni that a majority of things were working against the Indian team such as Zak down due to his hammy (arguably this situation couldve been avoided), Gauti & Tendu down due to injury and sickness respectively and consequent shuffling of the batting order, three bowler attack losing steam at critical junctures (such as Ishant not bowling immediately after lunch on day 4; wont bag Bhajji's performance as Swann was no prize either, just more aggressive due to the run cushion). .....

Part 1 of 3

Posted by Himanshu_shs on (July 26, 2011, 5:38 GMT)

there is nothing to be happy about for england. they played gud crcicket, thts gr8 but remem India is still no.1 There key players were injured, sehwag out, india playing there first match which everyone knows they wont do well contributed for their loss. If we talk about batting, england are no match against india n in bowling India are slightly behind england only on foreign tracks. So england winning the first match on their home soil, with their batsman in form, india's first tour match resluted for a loss. With Indian players in form, england wont be any match for india.

Posted by vattettan on (July 26, 2011, 5:28 GMT)

@EverybodylovesSachin - Loved your comment! There is so many ignorant guys around commenting without any knowledge about the game or games in the past. One does not have to go back far for understanding the value of Tendulkar. Just check the scorecard of 3rd test against SA few months ago. Against a far far better bowling attack. That was a much bigger occasion than this. Had they lost, they would have lost the series too as that was the last match. By the way, I am more a Dravid fan than Tendulkar.

Posted by moko58 on (July 26, 2011, 5:18 GMT)

Except for Rahul Dravid no body batted as much as expected. In the final test in West Indies, as well as here, the tail of the opposition wagged merrily and pushed India out of the game. Can't our bowlers wipe out the tail ?

Posted by Lord.emsworth on (July 26, 2011, 5:16 GMT)

Sure Zaheer made a difference but then again India being the top ranked test team have no business going into a Test match with just one decent quickie (Sorry Ishant!) Surely such a vast country with such a huge population and players can produce at least more than one really good quickie? India's bowling aren't as strong as England but they have their own 'Murali' in Harabajhan (405 test wickets)...Sri Lanka had an even worse, totaly novice bowling attack but more than held their own at times. Overall - India should show more of the fighting spirit the Lankans displayed.

Posted by peterss on (July 26, 2011, 5:12 GMT)

India won the toss, bowled in the perfect overhead conditions but still couldnt match up to england. England were actually a class apart and india would do well to even win a single test.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 4:59 GMT)

I would still consider 2005 Ashes bowling extraordinary with Flintoff,Jones,Harmisson andHoggard in prime.High quality Fast bowling.The bad part was almost everyone ended with premature exits due to injuries. Extraordinary brilliance for short time but not extraordinary longevity to accumulate namesake records .Infact England won each and every series under Vaughan convincinly and the series was between no.1 side by miles and no.2 side.

Posted by svln on (July 26, 2011, 4:53 GMT)

There is no way India can win any of the remaining matches unless they have 5 bowlers.I think they should bring in Varun Aaron or Abu Nechim in place of Zaheer.At least both of them generate enough pace to support Ishant.

Posted by Rahulbose on (July 26, 2011, 4:48 GMT)

What I feared about this series has come to pass. Sad to see likes of KP and Matt Prior out performing Sachin and company. Too bad they did not quit when the going was good. The Indian legends now belong more in museums and retirement homes than on the field.

Posted by Crusader1980 on (July 26, 2011, 4:47 GMT)

What is MSD doing at No:7, both times he scratched around a while and when the new ball was taken he immediately was caught behind on both occassions. HE MIGHT BE A LUCKY CAPTAIN BUT HE IS CAUSING AN ISSUE WITH INDIAN TEAM NOT ABLE TO PLAY 5 BOWLERS, HOW CAN U TRUST HIM AT NO : 6, ENGLAND CAN DO THAT, WITH PRIOR IF THEY WANT

Posted by wicketman on (July 26, 2011, 4:26 GMT)

Unfortunate for India - loosing Zaheer THAT MADE THE DIFFERENCE! - Psychologically England were on a high; India were demoralised. Make no mistake; Zaheer is a key player in this series and his absence made batting 'easier' for England in both innings especially the first innings. If we look closer, where was the famed England top order really? I think it will be an uncomfortable ride for England for the rest of the series. India are notoriously bad starters who gain momentum with every game. Based on this test, a full strength Indian side is quite capable of beating England in there own back yard.

Posted by rakzmenon on (July 26, 2011, 4:01 GMT)

Indian teams always have started poorly. But they are fighters for sure. So this series is bound to be exciting and England better watch out. Infact to an extent it is better for the Indian team to start with a loss as that might get them going. Yes all this thanks to poor planning in terms of practice matches etc. Going into the next test i feel there would be a need to get atleast two changes. How about Yuvraj for his bowling and for his skills to bag wickets (atleast that of KP) in all formats of cricket over Bhajji? Stronger batting line up too then. Second key change could be return of Sreesanth. The fact is with Praveen in the team we lack pace & so Sree could be a better pick over Munaf to replace Zak incase he is not fit. It wont be a bad thought to tick Munaf over Praveen, though it will be a hard on Praveen. England will go all out in the next match considering that by third test Indians would be very much in the game, and there is a 'Viru' threat looming ahead for them.

Posted by Alexk400 on (July 26, 2011, 3:55 GMT)

if i am england , i will drop eon morgan and bring bresnan and go all out attack and bundle out india and play next two match for draw. i think bresnan will bring better skill. he got brain.

Posted by cricpolitics on (July 26, 2011, 3:17 GMT)

Indian team will show it's real class throughout the series and prove that they are a mediocre team without one or two of their greats. At least that's what Dhoni suggested in his post match interview.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 3:17 GMT)

There is still a long way to go,as india will improve.but this vintage eng win has proved a few points and indian fans should take note.1.eng r a very good side 2.they've the best attack and they CAN bowl teams out when the ball isnt swinging 3.

Posted by k.hameed on (July 26, 2011, 3:09 GMT)

India has a big problem with its bowling and aging batsmen, fielding is poor, England has no weaknesses , they look well prepaid physically and mentally, I am afraid India will not bounce back....all downhill from here.

Posted by ManzurManutd on (July 26, 2011, 3:02 GMT)

India has a knack of coming back in to the series.Poor bowling in the first innings put them out of contest.After scoring 450 plus without even getting all out,England always had a control.Indian baters were always on backfoot.

Before the series India was at par with England,but glaring difference in potentials shown in Lords would certainly worry any Indians .India would be mighty pleased if they draw the series.


Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (July 26, 2011, 2:22 GMT)

guntur - Why you picked Sachin for the next test..Nect test is also Big occasion

Posted by Leggie on (July 26, 2011, 2:06 GMT)

Trying a bit of Sidhuism here... "A car running on three wheels is not just the same as one running on four wheels". While credit must certainly go to the English bowlers, they had a wonderful cushion of runs on the board, and this was solely due to India missing their fourth bowler. It's not just Zaheer Khan that India missed. To have 75% workforce in the bowling line-up is indeed a HUGE setback, and impacted the other bowlers as well. India hung on gamely through Praveen Kumar & Ishant but ultimately when fatigue took over England scored runs - a pattern that can be seen in both of England's innings. It'll be interesting to see if the English bowlers can sustain the same pressure if they don't have runs on the board.

Posted by SnowSnake on (July 26, 2011, 1:55 GMT)

Congratulations, England. A very comprehensive victory! I think this series will now go to England. All India can now do is try to save a 4-0 loss. This loss must be very demoralizing for India.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (July 26, 2011, 1:48 GMT)

The much heralded Indian batting line up has sruggled to post more than 300 run in the last 4 test matches. Send Zak back to India until he gets his niggles out and proves fitness in the domestic matches.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 1:35 GMT)

Fair play to Broad, I'm not his biggest fan but he played a blinder. I still think England would be even better if the dropped Morgan and played another bowler, perhaps Bresnan, or (if we had one) a left armer.

Posted by Herath-UK on (July 26, 2011, 1:23 GMT)

Prior's century probably turned the match on its head otherwise India would have got a chaseable total.I think on the whole Indian top order were poorer than Sri Lankans with no innings as Dilshan's wonderful 194 at Lord's. Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by pr3m on (July 26, 2011, 1:12 GMT)

I lked the ending of the article. I dunno if people have forgotten that we're slow starters, or they choose to ignore it each time we lose a game. One practice game was never gonna be enoygh, and the ocassion was always gonna be at the back of the minds of the players. Like Dhoni said, the circumstances throughout the gamed forced India on the back footp adn they were always playing catch up.

Next Test should make for a better show.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 1:09 GMT)

england will the series aallll by zero.meaning that India is not winnning one test.also england will be the number one team after this series

Posted by heathrf1974 on (July 26, 2011, 0:49 GMT)

Following England's demolition of Australia 6 months ago in the Ashes, England has been on a path to claiming the no. 1 spot. India have done well to get it, however, with their limited bowling attack they were only ever going to be temporary custodians.

Posted by rocket123 on (July 26, 2011, 0:16 GMT)

Problem with India is that they do not have enough world class fire power in their bowling attack to be a dominating team. And also they do not have batsmen other than Shewag who could dominate the world class bowling attack and hurt their ego and self-confidence. The Australians and WestIndians dominated World cricket because they had both the batsmen and world class bowlers to dominate in any given circumstances. However, India is a good team but yet short of standards in matching its true world ranking. ICC rankings are pretty much meaningless. For example, no matter Tendulkar is ranked No. 1 batsman or not, he is the best batsman. It is all about winning and domination. To be true world beaters, India must take a leaf from Australians and WestIndians of the past.

Posted by wolf777 on (July 25, 2011, 23:37 GMT)

"England are class apart'. Really? The problem was India lacking a bowler. If India had fit bowlers, England probably would not be able to score as many runs and India would be chasing a small victory target on the last day. Hope India trash the 6 batsman and for bowlers combination. Clearly as Dhoni found out, the strategy could backfire when one of the fast bowlers get injured. The best option for the next test would be to drop one batsman and pick up an extra bowler. The shortage of a bowling option helps the opposition pile up so many runs that the extra batsman does not provide any advantage.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 23:28 GMT)

This game is why I have not missed a a test at the Queens Park Oval, Port of Spain in 25 years and during that time I have gone to ZERO 20/20 games. I expect India to give an improved performance making the games even more entertaining. Test cricket will live on.

Posted by Alexk400 on (July 25, 2011, 23:23 GMT)

I predict england will win next Test also. Anyone one dare to challenge?.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 22:58 GMT)

Hmm, that's a big statement regarding this current England attack beating the 2005 attack. Harmison versus Tremlett is pretty much even for me as Tremlett hasn't proven any longevity and we may be seeing him at his peak. Harmison at his peak was at least Tremlett's equal. Anderson versus Hoggard is very close. Jimmy might have the wood on Tendulkar but Hoggie was undoubtedly better against left-handers than Anderson. Broad versus Flintoff... my money goes on Freddie. Swann versus Giles is the only clear winner. Let's also not forget that the 2005 attack had greater variety to it with Jones there as well. Overall the balance of 2005 was better as the four-man attack can easily come undone in the face of injury, as India demonstrated at Lords with the loss of Zaheer Khan.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 22:56 GMT)

Fire Harbhajan SIngh and bring some fresh spinners to the team

Posted by Alexk400 on (July 25, 2011, 22:40 GMT)

Both team faces same inconsistent bounce. It is just that once india lost zaheer , india was playing for a draw. That said at one point of time england may lose the test at 4thday lunch. But each england players took responsibility. They had more hunger than india. Indian players played like pre sehwag era. if sachin do not play all gets bundled out. We all know sachin can't play in pressure situation. This is not tough pitch. It is just that india never thought it has it in to draw the game. Two key players not having good time. Gambhir and Dhoni. They are roosters in chinese astrology. They won't have good game next Test also. My prediction is England 2-0 in first two test. we have to wait and see 3rd and 4th based on sehwag. if i were india play 8 batsman get a draw and All out attack in 3rd test. if India can end up 1-1 with england at the end of series , it will be good achievement for india with weak bowling line up.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 25, 2011, 22:37 GMT)

I've been following England in Test match cricket for over 40 years now and I've seen a lot of ups and, probably, a few too many downs. But this England are the real deal. Being 5 or 6 wickets down didn't phase the great Aus or Windies teams when they had someone like Healy or Gilchrist or Dujon coming in; their plan - get some runs on the board and the bowlers do the rest. That is what England did here. They dug themselves out of holes in Cardiff 2009, Centurion 2009, Cape Town 2010, Brisbane 2010; This England team are hard to beat. Like the great teams - once they get ahead, they cane the opposition. Great teams have great bowlers, period. Just at the moment England have the complete bowling unit; any one of those bowlers can, and has, run through quality batting line ups. England destroyed India in this Test match just as they destroyed Australia in The Ashes. This England team are on the verge of greatness - one of the best England Test teams I've seen in my lifetime.

Posted by cric_follower on (July 25, 2011, 22:37 GMT)

They need to come out with all guns blazing. Harbhajan is the key decision here. I think he should be dropped. English players played him with no trouble at all. The tail also needs to bat longer.

Posted by Finn92 on (July 25, 2011, 22:25 GMT)

They will bounce back and us English shouldn't get complacent as the series has a long way to go. However unless Zaheer improves his fitness they will struggle to be as dangerous as our attack. Sharma looked good yesterday but he is generally more cold than hot. Bhajji looks like he would rather be at home and I would seriously consider giving Mishra a go at Trent Bridge as he has a bit more mystery about him and could cause us some problems.

Posted by khiladisher on (July 25, 2011, 22:21 GMT)


Posted by anexpat on (July 25, 2011, 22:20 GMT)

Five down and indian batting seems over. Dhoni seems to be a non performing catain now a days. The difference is that England after six down could still produce an unbroken partenership of over 150 runs. Don't count on Sehwag either. He is out of practice and in these conditions he will perform just like others.

Posted by xjunda on (July 25, 2011, 22:17 GMT)

India has got tough test cricket ahead. It was an outstanding team performance by England.

Although I like Dhoni but he shouldn't be making excuses in post mach statements instead of admitting lack of match practice & fitness issues of legends!

Posted by subbass on (July 25, 2011, 22:15 GMT)

Good article, well written and pretty much spot on. A good win for England but you can be sure the Indians will bounce back at some point, still having said that I do expect us to win the series by a 2-1 scoreline. All in all this sets up the series big time, Indians now have to go for it to hold on to their number one ranking. Would not rule England out of winning the series by 2 Tests though, I certainly hope that is th ecase, but still feel that this will be a very close series, and we(England) may have to wait a bit longer for the number one ranking, but for me they will get their in the end as the Indians are too old really, and Saffers are just not good enough.

Posted by guntur on (July 25, 2011, 22:09 GMT)

Indians played woerfully . Tendulkar once again proved beyond any doubt that he is not the man for the big occasion. If ever India needed a GREAT innings from this great batsman , it was now and he failed. He is no Waugh, Lara or Richards. He is just a schoolboy cricketer who amasses runs and entertains crowd when he is on song. India badly missed Mishra in place of Bajji. I hope , next test, they will include him M y team for next test is Gambhir, Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar, Raina, Yuvrja,Dhoni, sharma, kumar and mishra and shreeshant..

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Sambit Bal Editor-in-chief Sambit Bal took to journalism at the age of 19 after realising that he wasn't fit for anything else, and to cricket journalism 14 years later when it dawned on him that it provided the perfect excuse to watch cricket in the office. Among other things he has bowled legspin, occasionally landing the ball in front of the batsman; laid out the comics page of a newspaper; covered crime, urban development and politics; and edited Gentleman, a monthly features magazine. He joined Wisden in 2001 and edited Wisden Asia Cricket and Cricinfo Magazine. He still spends his spare time watching cricket.
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